Co-Existence of Containers and Virtualization Technologies

By, Federico Simoncelli, Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat

As a software engineer working on the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), my team and I are driven by innovation; we are always looking for cutting edge technologies to integrate into our product.

Lately there has been a growing interest in Linux containers solutions such as Docker. Docker provides an open and standardized platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications. The application images can be safely held in your organization registry or they can be shared publicly in the docker hub portal (http://registry.hub.docker.com) for everyone to use and to contribute to.

Linux containers are a well-known technology that runs isolated Linux systems on the same host sharing the same kernel and resources as cpu time and memory. Containers are more lightweight, perform better and allow more density of instances compared to full virtualization where virtual machines run dedicated full kernels and operating systems on top of virtualized hardware. On the other hand virtual machines are still the preferred solution when it comes to running highly isolated workloads or different operating systems than the host.

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Empowering OpenStack Cloud Storage: OpenStack Juno Release Storage Overview

Wind Energy
 License: CC0 Public Domain

The OpenStack 10th release added ten new storage backends and improved testing on third-party storage systems. The Cinder block storage project continues to mature each cycle exposing more and more Enterprise cloud storage infrastructure functionalities.

Here is a quick overview of some of these key features.

Simplifying OpenStack Disaster Recovery with Volume Replication

After introducing a new Cinder Backup API to allow export and import backup service metadata in the Icehouse release, which allowed “electronic tape shipping” style backup-export & backup-import capabilities to recover OpenStack cloud deployments, the next step for Disaster Recovery enablement in OpenStack is the foundation of volume replication support at block level.

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Simplifying and Accelerating the Deployment of OpenStack Network Infrastructure

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The energy from the latest OpenStack Summit in Paris is still in the air. Its record attendance and vibrant interactions are a testimony of the maturity and adoption of OpenStack across continents, verticals and use cases.

It’s especially exciting to see its applications growing outside of core datacenter use cases with Network Function Virtualization being top of mind for many customers present at the Summit.

If we look back at the last few years, a fundamental role fueling OpenStack adoption has been played by the distributions which have taken the project OpenStack and helped turn it into an easy to consume, supported, enterprise-grade product.

At PLUMgrid we have witnessed this transformation summit after summit, customer deployment after customer deployment. Working closely with our customers and our OpenStack partners we can attest how much easier, smoother, simpler an OpenStack deployment is today.

Similarly, PLUMgrid wants to simplify and accelerate the deployment of OpenStack network infrastructure, especially for those customers that are going into production today and building large-scale environments.

If you had the pleasure to be at the summit you have learnt about all the new features that were introduced in Juno for the OpenStack networking component (and if not check out this blog which provides a good summary of all Juno’s networking feature).

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Delivering Public Cloud Functionality in OpenStack

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When it comes to delivering cloud services, enterprise architects have a common request to create a public cloud-type rate plan for showback, chargeback, or billing. Public cloud packaging is fairly standardized across the big vendors as innovations are quickly copied by others and basic virtual machines are assessed mainly on price. (I touched on the concept of the ongoing price changes and commoditization of public clouds in an earlier post.) Because of this standardization and relative pervasiveness, public cloud rate plans are well understood by cloud consumers. This makes them a good model for introducing enterprise users to new cloud services built on OpenStack.Enterprise architects are also highly interested in on-demand, self-service functionality from their Openstack clouds in order to imitate the immediate response of public clouds. We will cover how to deliver on-demand cloud services in a future post.

Pricing and Packaging Cloud Services
Public cloud rate plans are very popular, seeing adoption within enterprises, private hosted clouds, and newer public cloud providers alike. Most public cloud providers use the typical public cloud rate plan as a foundation for layering on services, software, security, and intangibles like reputation to build up differentiated offerings.Enterprise cloud architects use similar rate plans to demonstrate to internal customers that they can provide on-demand, self-service cloud services at a competitive price. To manage internal expectations and encourage good behavior, enterprises usually introduce cloud pricing via a showback model which does not directly impact budgets or require exchange of money. Users learn cloud cost structures and the impact of their resource usage. Later, full chargeback can be applied where internal users are expected to pay for services provided.

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OpenStack 2015 – The Year of the Enterprise?

OpenStackSummit Paris 2014This post is the collective work of all the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform Product Managers who attended the summit.

The 11th Openstack design summit that took place last week for the first time in Europe, brought about 6000 participants of the OpenStack community to Paris to kick off the design for the “Kilo” release.

If 2014 was the year of the “Superuser”, then clearly the year 2015 seems to be about the “Year of the Enterprise“.  The big question is: are we ready for enterprise mass adoption?

More than year ago, at the Openstack Havana design summit, it was clear that although interest in deploying OpenStack was growing, most enterprises were still holding back, mainly due to the lack of maturity of the project. This OpenStack summit, the new cool kid in the Open Cloud infrastructure playground is finally starting to show real maturity signs.

An important indicator for this is the increased number of deployments. The Kilo summit showcased about 16 different large organizations using production workloads on OpenStack, including companies such as BBVA Bank, SAP SE (formerly SAP AG) & BMW.

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OpenStack Summit – Why NFV Really Matters

I’ve been following the news releases and other storylines that have emerged from the ongoing proceedings at the OpenStack Summit in Paris, France. Some key themes have surfaced. In my first editorial, I shared reasons why the market has matured. In my second story, I observed how simplification via automation would broaden the addressable market for hybrid cloud services.

The other key theme that has emerged is the increased focus on telecom network operator needs and wants – specifically, the primary telco strategies that are evolving as they continue to build-out their hyperscale cloud infrastructures.

This is my domain. I’ve invested most of my professional life working for, or consulting with, domestic and international communication service providers. I’ve been actively involved in the business development of numerous wireline and wireless services, within both the consumer and commercial side of the marketplace. During more than two decades of experience, it’s been an amazing journey.

The closely related Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) industries are already undergoing a transformation, as innovative products or services are developed by collaborative teams of creative contributors and brought to market at an accelerated rate.

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Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5 Now Available

Gordon Tillmore, Red Hat
Earlier this week, we announced the release of Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5.  Customers can use  this recent release to move towards open hybrid cloud working alongside existing infrastructure investments, and allowing for workload portability from a customer’s private cloud to Amazon EC2, or the reverse, if desired.   The product is our Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution providing:

  • a flexible and open solution to build out a centrally managed heterogeneous virtualization environment,
  • a private cloud for traditional workloads based on virtualization technologies, and
  • a massively scalable OpenStack-based cloud for cloud-enabled workloads

Version 5 -an important release for Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure
Version 4 already included three tightly integrated Red Hat technologies: Red Hat CloudForms, an award winning Cloud Management Platform (CMP), Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, a full-featured enterprise virtualization solution, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, our fully supported, enterprise grade OpenStack offering.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux has also been a key ingredient, serving as the basis for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, as well as a guest operating system at the tenant layer. And now, with Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure 5, Red Hat is introducing Satellite 6 to it’s award winning cloud infrastructure. Satellite 6 is accessible with no extra cost, to help organizations better manage the lifecycle of their cloud infrastructure.

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OpenStack, Paris Summit: Day One Insights

Depending on your point of view, there are different ways to assess the progress of the evolving OpenStack project. Yesterday, I profiled “three reasons” why I believe there are encouraging signs that demonstrate how OpenStack has matured — and I gave an example of existing application case studies, as a key indicator.

I prefer to view the OpenStack upside potential through the lens of a business innovation consultant, where the technology is a means to an end – that being a desired commercial transformation. I referred to “superior digital business processes” as a primary motivation for exploring cloud computing services. So, what do I foresee, and how did I become fascinated by this particular topic?

I believe that today’s Global Networked Economy will lower any remaining geographic boundaries that may have previously limited competition in those industries that, to date, were largely untouched by the disruption made possible by the public Internet. The nascent Internet of Things has my attention – I want to be prepared for whatever comes next.

Freedom to Innovate with Cloud Services

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Three Reasons Why OpenStack has Matured

The OpenStack Summit, taking place in Paris, France this week, will be a turning point for those of us that study market development activity within the cloud computing infrastructure marketplace. I attended my first OpenStack Summit earlier this year, in Atlanta, Georgia. During the event conference sessions, I was immediately engaged by the apparent enthusiasm and energy of the other attendees.

You know, it’s true; people that are driven by a strong sense of purpose really do radiate a high level of passion for their cause that can become somewhat contagious. It’s hard to resist a positive outlook.

That said, I’m not easily swayed by buzz or hype. As a consultant with nearly three decades of technology business experience, I tend to carefully consider all the facts before I offer an opinion. Most of my experience is within the telecom sector, so I was drawn to the conference sessions that focused on the business challenges that I knew very well. Upon returning home from the Atlanta Summit, I wrote a story about my observations; it was entitled “Exploring OpenStack cloud case studies.”

How the OpenStack Market has Evolved

I’ve observed several encouraging developments since the Atlanta Summit that I believe demonstrate the OpenStack market has now matured to a point where the next wave of enterprise user adoption will start to occur. As we enter 2015, I’ll also share periodic updates on my market assessment.

In the past, there have been numerous reports in the trade media that a lack of skilled and experienced cloud-savvy technical talent has limited some IT organizations from acting on the cloud service pilot request of an internal constituent. This scenario has helped to fuel the Shadow IT phenomena, where public cloud services are procured and used directly by impatient Line of Business (LoB) leaders.

Vendors in the cloud computing community have responded, by offering the support resources required by CIOs and IT managers – essentially creating the environment to address the staffing and skills demand in the marketplace. As an example, more OpenStack training classes are now available, and the associated skills certification process ensures that the graduating students are prepared for the most common use cases.

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